PORTLAND (ABC4 Sports) – Real Salt Lake is rolling.
Two weeks after putting up six goals against the L.A. Galaxy, RSL scored four more goals in a 4-1 victory at Portland, snapping their 19-game winless streak on turf dating back to 2013.
“Listen, I never really spoke about it for many reasons, but in all honesty, the first 10 games or so I was here, we had a lot of injuries,” said head coach Mike Petke. “We were depleted. It’s not to take away from the guys that were playing at all, but we have a full roster now. The talent is there. It’s a joy to watch.”
RSL captain Kyle Beckerman began the scoring with a massive right-footed blast in the 10th minute to make it 1-0 Real at the half. That was Beckerman’s third goal of the year and his second in the last two games.
“I initially got it and was thinking of whipping something across for the back post and then didn’t really see any runs,” Beckerman said. “So I thought I’d give it and hit and it went in.”
RSL quickly took a two-goal lead in the 50th minute Jefferson Savarino was fouled in the box, setting up a penalty kick by Joao Plata, which he buried for his fourth goal of the season.
Then tempers flared on the field as Fanendo Adi, upset by a foul committed by Beckerman, ran right over the RSL captain, sending Beckerman to the turf. For some reason, both players were given red cards, but RSL head coach Mike Petke plans on appealing.
“I don’t want to say too much, but I’m very curious to seel” Petke said. “I’m going to go back and look at the tape. I’ve already talked to people in my organization, people here who have seen it. They don’t understand why he got a red card.”
That was Portland’s second red card of the match, so playing the rest of the way with just eight men, RSL put the game out of reach.
Albert Rusnak’s shot in the 69th minute hit the crossbar and bounced off the head of goalkeeper Jake Gleason to make it 3-0. Plata later added his second goal of the game, and his fifth of the year, in the 80th minute on a breakaway to make it 4-0.
Jack Barmby ruined Nick Rimando’s bid for a shutout with a goal in stoppage time.
Real has now scored 10 goals in its last two games, and improves to 7-12-2 on the season. RSL is now in 8th place in the Western Conference, and remains four points out of the final playoff spot behind Seattle.
“We talked about it before the game,” said defender Tony Beltran. “We knew where we’re at in the standings. We know what we need to do to get in the playoffs and tonight was the first step in that. Fantastic away result, getting the three points and now we need to keep it rolling at home.”
RSL continues its busy week Saturday when they host Sporting Kansas City at Rio Tinto Stadium at 8:00 p.m.